WASHINGTON – The President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders released its inaugural report on Sept. 27, publicly detailing more than a dozen recommendations that were transmitted to President Joe Biden on Aug. 24.

The recommendations, approved during the commission’s first in-person meeting at the White House on May 12 were developed by 25 leaders appointed by Biden who reflect the rich diversity of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AA and NHPI) communities throughout the U.S.

“The inaugural report is the product of months of engagement with experts, community advocates, and federal officials. I commend our commissioners for their dedication and diligence in developing these recommendations,” said Chief Commissioner Sonal Shah. “Together, they represent a significant community-driven effort to advance equity, justice, and opportunity for Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders. The commission stands ready to provide guidance as the Biden-Harris Administration considers whether the recommendations should be implemented.”

Read the full report here: https://www.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/pacaanhpi-inaugural-report-2022.pdf

The commission held a public meeting on Sept. 28. Members discussed and voted on additional draft and full recommendations to submit to the president on a rolling basis.

In May 2021, Biden authorized the creation of the commission through Executive Order 14031. He appointed 25 leaders to serve as commissioners on Dec. 20, 2021. The members were sworn in by Vice President Kamala Harris on Feb. 3, 2022.

The commission, co-chaired by Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra and U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Katherine Tai, advises the president on ways the public, private and nonprofit sectors can work together to advance equity, justice, and opportunity for Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities.

During the Commission’s inaugural meeting in February, the members formed six subcommittees to develop detailed recommendations for the president focused on:

Belonging, Inclusion, Anti-Asian Hate, and Anti-Discrimination

Data Disaggregation

Language Access

Economic Equity

Health Equity

Immigration and Citizenship Status

On May 12, the commission held its first in-person meeting and approved recommendations from each of the subcommittees. Approved recommendations were finalized, reviewed, and submitted to the commission co-chairs, and then transmitted to the president on Aug. 24.

Remarks by Daniel Dae Kim

Following are opening remarks by actor Daniel Dae Kim, a member of the Belonging, Inclusion, Anti-Asian Hate, Anti-Discrimination Subcommittee, at the commission’s third public meeting on Sept. 28.

As we meet, current events continue to tell us that the work of our subcommittee remains as important and as vital as ever.

Daniel Dae Kim

Hate incidents against our community continue unabated. In fact, according to the FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics Report, in 2021, crimes against the AA and NHPI community rose 73% from the already sharply elevated figures of 2020.

And according to the nonprofit organization Stop AAPI Hate, which itself was created in response to the surge in violence against our community, there were 11,467 incidents documented between March 2020 and March of 2022. And these numbers, of course, only represent the reported cases. 

Indeed, one doesn’t have to look far to see the long list of incidents that have occurred since our commission meeting last May.

In April and May 2022, a man and teenager faced hate crime charges for targeting an Asian woman for physical assaults and robberies in Sacramento, Calif.

On May 12, on the last day our commission meeting, we learned of a shooting in Dallas, Texas at a Korean-owned hair salon that left three Asian women injured. The gunman has since been indicted on multiple felony charges. 

May 13: A man was charged with a hate crime after attacking a Filipino family at a McDonald’s drive-thru in North Hollywood, Calif.

May 31: A man was charged with [a] hate crime after hurling anti-Asian remarks and slashing an Asian man with a knife on a subway train in Brooklyn.

On June 14, an East Asian Ph.D. student at University of Wisconsin-Madison was beaten by a group of men, who allegedly beat a South Asian victim the very same day.

July 2: A man was charged with “bias crime” in Oregon after physically assaulting a five-year-old Asian girl and her father after making comments about their race.

July 9: A man was arrested in Washington State for suspicion of committing a hate crime against U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal and threatening to kill her.

July 11: A man now faces a hate crime charge after allegedly punching an Asian woman and yelling anti-Asian rhetoric in Seattle, Wash.

Aug. 1: A man slashed a 59-year-old Asian woman with a box cutter in Times Square in an unprovoked attack.

Aug. 18: Three people of Asian descent were threatened with a knife and attacked with a brick in a suspected anti-Asian hate crime right here in Washington, D.C.

On Aug. 24, a woman hurled racist slurs and attacked a group of South Asian women outside a Plano, Texas restaurant in what is being investigated as a hate crime.

And just earlier this month, two Asian American teenage girls were attacked in separate incidents on the Philadelphia subway without provocation in what authorities are investigating as possible hate crimes. 

As you can see, this list seems long, but it’s only one of the thousands of incidents of verbal harassment, shunning, physical assault, and other types of discrimination that have afflicted members of our community since the beginning of the pandemic. 

It reaches across all Asian demographics, all across the country. It is vitally important that these stories be told. Despite how long this list may be, it is important that these voices be heard.

Clearly, there remains much work to do. 

To that end, our subcommittee has met regularly, along with the guest speakers that you heard Kamal (subcommittee co-chair Dr. Kamal Kalsi) speak about, with expertise in their respective fields. 

And we’ve focused our work on several areas: prevention of anti-Asian hate; education about AA and NHPI communities; increasing resources for victims; uplifting AA and NHPI youth. We focused on ways to address online harassment and abuse targeting AA and NHPI communities. Preventing gun violence targeting AA and NHPI communities, among many others. They are listed right there on our priority issues areas.

We are continuing to develop fulsome recommendations to address these concerns, and we look forward to presenting them to the full committee. I’ll pass it over to our colleague and friend Luisa (subcommittee co-chair Luisa Blue) now to present the first of today’s recommendations. Thank you.

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